Sunday, September 17, 2006

catching up

What I'm listening to now:

At War with the Mystics by the Flaming Lips

surprisingly chill and relaxing to listen to at bedtime...

I want to rip it to my i-River, but I can't stop listening!

So in the meantime I'm ripping my other Flaming Lips CDs (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots and The Soft Bulletin) .

Have I ever mentioned how much I heart Wayne Coyne???

Wayne's the cute one in the middle. Obviously. Photo courtesy of the Flaming Lips web site.

He's dreeeeeamy.

The other CD I'm listening to obsessively these days...

Modern Times by this guy Bob Dylan
Have you heard of him? He's a-MAZ-ing! ;-)

My shape-noting singing friend NR saw Bob in NY with our mutual singing-friend GM. NR said that, at the end of the show, Bob took off his cowboy hat, reached into it, and sprinkled "Bob-dust" on the audience.

Hmmmm, Bob-dust.

rip steve-o

Promised my co-worker LF at Friday after-work Happy Hour at Heroes that I would update my blog. Knew it had been awhile. June! Hey, I can't help it if I have an active social life! :-)

I wanted to update when I heard the news that Steve Irwin died. :-( But I was too crushed to really write about it. So I will now. But not much to say.

RIP Steve-O.

photo courtesy of Australia Zoo web site

My heart and prayers go out to Terri, Bindi, and Bob. And Wes, and Kelsey, and everyone at Australia Zoo...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

fox spirit

First, apologies for lack of blogging. Since March! Jeez, I suck! Sorry! I got super busy at work. That happens when you fire two people. (Yikes!) Then my Internet connection on my laptop at home was super flaky, but it seems to be back to normal (fingers crossed). So the blogging should be more frequent now. I promise.

Here's a super treat. Mobtown sent me this fox picture he ran across on Flickr, and I looked at this whole set of photos of 2 fox families. It is one of the most amazing and beautiful sets of animal photography I have ever seen. Just breathtaking. Check it out at

I'm convinced that fox is my totem animal. Years ago, the summer that my father died, I had this extremely vivid dream that I was back at the house where I grew up, and I was on the back porch, which is enclosed but has windows out to the backyard. And a fox was on the back porch with me, blocking my way to the door to go out to the backyard. And my dad was in the backyard. I wanted to get to him because I missed him so much, and I called to him through the window. But every time I took a step toward the door, the fox nipped me on my ankle. It was frightening but also spiritual at the same time. I suppose that, in essence, is the heart of shamanism and animal magic. There's that edge of real fright and terror to it. It's like my cat, my beloved one-eyed orange tabby, who can be so happy and content and purring while I pet him one moment, and then in a second, just snap at me out of nowhere. That's the nature of animals.

Anyway, when I woke up, I told Mobtown about my dream. It was a dream that completely stayed with me, so I feel very strongly it was a vision. Mobtown told me he'd read in a study of shamanism or dream interpretation or somewhere, that when an animal bites you in a dream, it means that animal is your protective animal. Without belaboring it, or over-interpreting it, I believe that dream was a message to me that my father had crossed over, that there was now a divide between us, and the fox was telling me I had to stay where I was, that I couldn't get to where my dad is. Because the fox was not trying to attack or kill me, or even harm me, but to give me the kind of nip that parent-animals give to their young'uns when they're about to go somewhere dangerous or do something that will cause them harm. So I will leave it there. Like I said, I don't want to over-interpret.

In the reign of the Emperor Nimmyo
when Ono-no-Komachi the strange girl poet
was seventeen, she set out looking for her father
who had become a Buddhist wanderer. She took ill
on her journey, and sick in bed one night saw


in a dream. He told her she would find a hotsprings
on the bank of the Azuma river in the Bandai mountains
that would cure her; and she'd meet her father there.
(Tim and Kim and Don and I were talking about

what an awful authoritarian garb Doctors
and Nurses wear, really, how spooky it is.
"What should they wear?"

--- "masks and feathers!"

by Gary Snyder
"The Blue Sky"
in Mountains and Rivers Without End
(Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1996)

photo courtesy of lucky e

Monday, March 20, 2006

of course she's a LADY VOL!!!!!

For the sports-deprived, -impaired, or -clueless...

Check out Candace Parker's historic double slam dunks in the Lady Vols' 102/54 win over Army.

photo courtesy of

I've been a fan of the Lady Vols ever since I started watching college b-ball in high school, and saw a phenomenal Vols/Huskies game during March Madness. Sad to say, I missed seeing Parker's awesome moves live. When I heard the news, I immediately went searching for the clip. Check it out - it's awesome!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

re: Owen Gleiberman's review of V for Vendetta

Saw V for Vendetta last night. Will give the fan-girl review later. But for now, enjoy this missive I just sent off to Entertainment Weekly...

Re: Owen Gleiberman's review of V for Vendetta

Dear EW editors:

I have two comments about Owen Gleiberman's review of V for Vendetta in the March 24, 2006 issue.

First, Gleiberman describes Guy Fawkes as "the 17th-century British anarchist hero." While Fawkes may have later become a hero for anarchists, Guy Fawkes himself was not an anarchist. He was a Roman Catholic who conspired to assassinate King James I by blowing up Parliament while the King was there. Fawkes' goal was not anarchy in the U.K, but an end to Protestant rule in the United Kingdom. I thought the film's writers did a good job of providing a brief historical lesson on Guy Fawkes at the beginning of the movie -- especially for American viewers who may not be familiar with the story of the Gunpowder Plot. Sadly, it seems Mr. Gleiberman conducted no additional research on the Guy Fawkes story -- not even a visit to Wikipedia -- when writing his review.

Secondly, I find Mr. Gleiberman's glib dismissal of the film's political themes as being nothing more than "a rage against the machine by the machine" to be ironic. Considering that Mr. Gleiberman is a paid employee of a mega-media conglomerate like AOL Time Warner, it seems hypocritical to fault the ability of a mass media product to provoke thought, foster political debate and promulgate subversive ideas.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

37 on the bottom

So, I've heard that there is a Sacred Harp tradition to call your age on your birthday...that is, to lead the song on the page number that is your age, on your birthday. Well, nothing against "America" or "Ninety-Fifth", but at this weekend's Northern Shenandoah Valley monthly sing, I decided to call "Liverpool" (37B) in honor of my impending 36th-birthday brouhaha. I had the song in my head after listening to a recording of it on my MP3 player last week. Also, I thought the "Young people all attention give...Remember you are hast'ning on to death's dark gloomy shade" lyrics were apropos.

Image courtesy of Michigan State University Libraries

In other news...I haven't blogged about my current reading in awhile. Seems that a book review is long overdue. I have a good excuse, though. I'm reading a tome. Since January, I've been reading this gi-normous historical novel by Rosalind Miles entitled I, Elizabeth. Six-hundred pages of Elizabethan historical references. Needless to say: my cup runneth over.

Not only is Miles a phenomenal writer, but the book is so meticulously researched. I mean, everything is so spot on. For someone like me, who's read numerous biographies of Elizabeth I, studied Elizabethan history to some degree, and owns a copy of Elizabeth R's Collected's fun to know what's coming next, and be able to pick out exactly where the non-fiction leaves off and the fiction begins. For instance, the other day, I just finished reading the section about the death of poor Amy Dudley (nee Robsart). Everything Miles includes in the telling has evidence from the historical record...except, of course, "who done it" (that is, IF anyone done it and it wasn't just an accident). I don't want to inlcude any spoilers, but I was really impressed that Miles' take on "who done it" actually has some merit as a theory. It stands up -- it is probable that it happened the way she presents it, even though it is, without a doubt, fiction.

It's just wondrful to read a book that presents such an accurate portrayal of Elizabeth's life, with such exacting detail, without being too stuffy and academic. It's amazing to me that Miles is able to include all the juicy intrigue plus the hot-and-heavy romance, without sacrificing historical accuracy. Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those annoying history geeks who just lurks, waiting to pounce on historical inaccuracies. I'm fine with historical fiction being fiction. It's just so pleasant when I can read historical fiction without huge, glaring, anachronisms jumping out at me. Miles is perhaps the best author of historical fiction I've ever read. Actually, I can take out the "perhaps" -- I can't think of a historical fiction writer I like better.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

dude! toby dawson must be stoked!

Dude! Toby Dawson just medaled in Men's Moguls! His posse must be stoked!

Sorry, I'm just loving the commentary for moguls and snowboarding. Every other word is "stoked". I loved it just now when the commentator mentioned Toby Dawson's "posse".

In all seriousness, Toby's latest run was just freakin' amazing.

I think my man "awesome Dawson" has just overtaken Apolo Anton Ohno as my Olympic Flame. Ooh, baby.

photo courtesy of

baby boom at the national zoo!

The National Zoo has another baby! A prehensile-tailed porcupine was born on February 8 at the Small Mammal House!

Ain't it cute?

Photos courtesy of the National Zoo: this is actually not the new baby porcupine, but a porcupine that was born at the zoo last year.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

unrivaled pupsmanship!

So, it's probably not surprising that I'm not a football fan. Sorry for the double negative! Translation: No me gusta futbol. I played both flag and tackle football when I was a kid, with the neighborhood boys and with my cousins, and loved it. I knew all the rules of football, from watching it with my dad. I even read those children's books about playing football. But at some point in my teens I got really bored with American football. I think it may have coincided with my discovery of Australian Rules Football and Rugby, which are both so much better than American football. (Oops, that's probably grounds enough for the Dept. of Homeland Security to start listening in on my phone calls.)

Or maybe I just got sick of American football fans, which really do tend toward the most dumb-headed of the American populace.

In any case, I was delighted when a friend told me about Puppy Bowl II on Animal Planet. Which I watched this evening. It's BRILLIANT! BRILLIANT! It's a few cameras trained on a pen full of rambunctious puppies! The carpeting is painted like a football field! There are waterbowls under the goalposts! There is even a "bowl cam" so you can see the puppies drinking! Kittens are the half-time show! There are even "puppy player stats" on the website! And a referee would come into the pen and issue a "puppy penalty" when one of the puppies pooped! Ha!

photo courtesy of Animal Planet

Oh my god have you ever seen anything so cute? Again, I say, BRILLIANT!

Ta ~ I'm off to vote for Most Valuable Puppy...